Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yesterday's Funniest Sight On the Block

Brian, from our maintenance department, was walking through the parking lot carrying several brand new fire extinguishers -- and a lit cigarette in his mouth.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The "Plunge"

Classes have begun. Reading...papers...ordos...chapel...student government agenda...cantor responsibilities...working the reception desk...learning music for Tim's ordination...and the various challenges of keeping up a long-distance marriage with very poor cell phone reception all created an emotionally challenging day -- especially since someone I don't know kept sending me text messages, making my phone beep repeatedly last night after midnight! Now I remember why I didn't start a blog last year, and I suspect I may be sporadic at keeping it up now.

Even so, Christian Ethics will be a great class, and I am sooo excited about my "Plunge" assignment: I'm headed to Good Shepherd Church in West Springfield, Massachusetts for about 12 days with Davies and Barb.

It's a dandy thing that Sarah knitted me a small sheep for my birthday last week! The sheep is going to Massachusetts with me.

Maybe they get better phone reception up there.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

It is Finished

Orientation is over!! Thanks be to God.
I had the finest co-chairs ever. Thanks, you two.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Did I Learn the Wrong Language This Summer?!

Which Language Should You Learn?

You Should Learn French

C'est super! You appreciate the finer things in life... wine, art, cheese, love affairs.
You are definitely a Parisian at heart. You just need your tongue to catch up...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

From Age to Age

So, tomorrow morning when I awaken to the first day of orientation week, I'll have turned 52. Part of me wonders if I'll simply be like a deck of playing cards, or the number of weeks in a year.

Perhaps this reluctance relates to the Psalms. Psalm 51 has been a favorite for many years: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (There's a lovely Brahms motet set to this text.) But when I consider Psalm 52, oh dear! You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness against the godly all day long? / You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, O worker of deception.

I'm happy to say that near the end of the psalm, a gentler image emerges: But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

May this coming year be filled with reminders that a willingness to trust is sweet, and that grace is never far away.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Field Trip

On Friday night, Davies and Laurel took me on my first trip to Ikea. I needed to buy a bookshelf. We stopped for gas at a Mobil Mart, and while in line inside, the gentleman transacting business with the cashier looked at me and said, "You look like an overachiever." Well, really!

The bookshelf is great. Thanks to Laurel (and Roz) for putting the whole thing together while I helped a new student move into the dorm and tended to related Orientation duties. Friends make so much difference.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Heated Towels

It turns out that my Cinderblock Castle here in Evanston is more luxurious than I remembered. The high here was 95 degrees yesterday, and as I moved five carloads up to my third floor apartment, it felt cooler outside. Later, when I took a cold shower, I was surprised to reach for a clean towel and find that it had been specially heated for my return! It felt warm to the touch, as though it had just come out of the microwave.

I cleaned up the fine layer of sugar crystals in the kitchen (left behind by my July renter), started on the dust, fly corpses, and the rest of the apartment, and finally got unpacked before midnight. I'm terribly homesick. Nonetheless, the friends with whom I've been reconnected here remind me: it's good to be back.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Music Query

Along with vacuum cleaners, packing sucks. Tomorrow, I will spend the majority of the day either packing or avoiding packing. It might help if those of you who recently completed this task tell me what music you listened to while sorting, packing and lugging boxes. The right music (something with energy?) may just soothe the beast within that tells me that, really, I'd rather just forget the whole thing and stay home!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Thinking About Possessions (or Belongings)

Last month in Greek class, we learned the term for possessions (or belongings - whatever that difference may be). This month, as I pass by shop windows and begin to pack my own belongings in preparation for returning to Evanston, I think how pointless all this stuff seems. Thinking of the countless people who have lost their possessions in the wake of Katrina, the accumulation of things sends me spinning into such sadness,and its force surprises me.

Yesterday, I purchased two bags of personal hygiene items and dropped them off at the spiritual care department of our hospital, where I had volunteered before entering seminary. This helped balance me for about 30 minutes.

At John's mom's funeral, the presider announced that, in the giving spirit of Ruth Horn, all memorials in her name would go toward hurricane victim relief. This helped too. Yet I continue to feel such deep loss for those whom we'll never know.

It was good to be with so much family last weekend. 13 out of 14 of Ruth's grandchildren were there, all except the one living in South Africa. I've lost count of all the great grandchildren!

It's good to be back, though now I'm on the verge of leaving. I've gotta be crazy, electing to live apart from my dearest one. Oh, whine, whine, whine! At least this is temporary!